A FORMER MP has hit back at claims that she has made huge profits from the sale of her constituency home.

Vera Baird, who lost her Redcar seat at the last election, said she had donated an undisclosed amount of the money to charitable causes.

Ms Baird bought the fourbedroomed property in Redcar in 2001 for £113,000 and sold it for £265,000 earlier this year.

Because it was registered as her second home, she was able to claim expenses for mortgage interest and refurbishment costs.

However, the former Labour MP would have had to pay capital gains tax along with other fees and charges from the sale. It has been reported that she could be making more than £100,000 profit from the sale, a figure the barrister denies.

She said: “I sold the house in February and the amount of profit reported is wrong because it disregards a number of things. However, there was some profit and I have always said that I would behave accordingly.

“I have already paid contributions to good causes from it (the profit), and may do more, and have been consistent with how I have approached charitable and other donations throughout my life – I do so privately.”

Under new rules on parliamentary expenses, which come into force in August next year, MPs will have to pay back all profits for the sale of second homes.

But as Ms Baird lost her seat before the rule changes, she would be free to keep any profit.

Sitting Redcar MP Ian Swales, who swept to victory in May last year, has led the calls for Ms Baird to repay the profit from the sale of the house.

The Liberal Democrat said: “I think it is only right that taxpayers be refunded after they poured thousands of pounds into the upkeep and refurbishment of her property.

“Before the rules change in August 2012, she can keep such a profit, but that does not mean she should. Most people don’t need a rule to tell them the right thing to do. Only last month, Nick Clegg made a profit of £40,000 on the sale of his home and handed it straight back to the taxpayer without a second thought. I hope Ms Baird will do the right thing by the people of Redcar and swiftly follow his example.”